Use Model MDR533H/F7 with/Without cable company's adapter - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-18-2013, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
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I have an older TV that needs the cable company's adapter to view Digital programming. This makes my VCR useless. Will I still need the adapter with this Magnavox unit or will it replace the adapter as a digital tuner for my TV? Would I simply use the Magnavox as my only tuner as well as a recorder?
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-18-2013, 03:09 PM
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Do you have Comcast cable? If not, which one?

 

Did you receive a letter from your cableco saying they were going to an "all-digital" system and they're scrambling ALL their channels, so you'd need the adapter to tune any channels at all? This would have been a fairly recent event.


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post #3 of 7 Old 11-18-2013, 03:26 PM
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The Magnavox recorders are not a guaranteed cure for "I wanna get rid of my cable box" problems. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't: it depends on your location and the whims of your cable company. As wajo mentioned, ComCast is the most impossible to deal with, but many others are following ComCast's early lead in requiring some sort of box to decode digital channels.

The digital tuner in generic recorders like the Magnavox is not an exact match for any particular cable system: it sorta works but not with all channels on all systems. When your cableco periodically changes around its channel numbers, you'll need to rescan the channels, which some people find very tedious and confusing. At minimum, you should be able to tune your local broadcast channels and some of the "free" (not scrambled) basic cable channels. But again, if you expect the Magnavox to function like your VCR did prior to the digital cable change, you will be disappointed. Since the digital shift, Murphy's Law Of Nasty Cable Tricks means at least one of your favorite channels will require a box to decode it.

In the short term, you'll either get real lucky and the Magnavox will tune all your favorite channels, or you'll endure what most people deal with: some channels need the box while others can still be tuned by the Magnavox (for how much longer, nobody knows). Wiring the Magnavox, your decoder, and your TV to get as many options out of this as possible is a bit tricky: see the instructions in wajo's huge Magnavox thread here on AVS.

Fortunately the Magnavox is sold primarily thru the WalMart website, and is backed by a 30 day refund policy if you don't like the way it works. So it isn't much of a hassle to simply buy one and try it out with your cable system for a couple weeks. There's no other reliable way to determine if it will tune the channels you want: compatibility varies from household to household.
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post #4 of 7 Old 11-18-2013, 03:43 PM
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Walmart has a 90-day return policy for the Mag recorders.


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post #5 of 7 Old 11-18-2013, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
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The paperwork that came with the DA (Digital Adapter) says it will allow me to watch HD and standard channels when used with an HDTV, and may be connected to a traditional Analog TV. It also said the adapter needed to be activated, however mine was automatically activated. There was no mention of "single" or otherwise. They want me to get their TIVO for an initial price and a monthly fee. Sounds like the TIVO doesn't need any connection to the adapter. I guess this unit will act as a TIVO without the monthly fee. With the adapter I get hundreds?? of channels that were not otherwise available to me. I may have to buy it, try it and return it if it doesn't do what I want.
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post #6 of 7 Old 11-18-2013, 05:49 PM
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Since they didn't say anything about their system going "all-digital," I'd suggest you get a Mag unit, connect directly to the cable coax (with their adapter removed), do a channel scan ... "Auto Channel Preset > Cable (Analog/DIgital)"... in the Mag, and see what it tunes.

 

Click the 1st link in my sig. for a list of info and help files, esp. 3.d on Tuning Channels so you know what to expect.

 

* * * * * * *

Edit: How old is your TV. The Mag needs at least a Composite YWR RCA connection on the TV since it only passes thru the raw cable signal thru the coax, unlike your VCR. If your TV is so old it only has a coax connection, you'll have to use your VCR as a "modulator" for the coax input on the TV, or get a separate RF modulator.

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post #7 of 7 Old 11-21-2013, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

As wajo mentioned, ComCast is the most impossible to deal with, but many others are following ComCast's early lead in requiring some sort of box to decode digital channels.

Cablevision is up there, too. I think they were the first to get the FCC waiver and scramble everything.

TWC still has an analog band (I've been monitoring it with an analog TV in my bedroom.) They recently dropped a few more channels, but most of the biggies are there (networks, TNT, the cable news channels, etc.)
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Originally Posted by jwg35815 View Post

The paperwork that came with the DA (Digital Adapter) says it will allow me to watch HD and standard channels when used with an HDTV, and may be connected to a traditional Analog TV.

It would help to know which cable company we're talking about.
Quote:
They want me to get their TIVO for an initial price and a monthly fee.

They sell a "TiVo"? Is it an actual TiVo-brand DVR? Usually cable companies lease a box with no initial fee, just a monthly fee.

Don't believe everything on the Interwebz! A duck's quack DOES echo!
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